Phylogenetic diversity of Mesorhizobium in chickpea
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Crop domestication, in general, has reduced genetic diversity in cultivated gene pool of chickpea (Cicer arietinum) as compared with wild species (C. reticulatum, C. bijugum). To explore impact of domestication on symbiosis, 10 accessions of chickpeas, including 4 accessions of C. arietinum, and 3 accessions of each of C. reticulatum and C. bijugum species, were selected and DNAs were extracted from their nodules. To distinguish chickpea symbiont, preliminary sequences analysis was attempted with 9 genes (16S rRNA, atpD, dnaJ, glnA, gyrB, nifH, nifK, nodD and recA) of which 3 genes (gyrB, nifK and nodD) were selected based on sufficient sequence diversity for further phylogenetic analysis. Phylogenetic analysis and sequence diversity for 3 genes demonstrated that sequences from C. reticulatum were more diverse. Nodule occupancy by dominant symbiont also indicated that C. reticulatum (60%) could have more various symbionts than cultivated chickpea (80%). The study demonstrated that wild chickpeas (C. reticulatum) could be used for selecting more diverse symbionts in the field conditions and it implies that chickpea domestication affected symbiosis negatively in addition to reducing genetic diversity.
KeywordsChickpea domestication nitrogen fixation rhizobia symbiosis
This study has been supported by US National Science Foundation (NSF) – Basic Research Enabling Agriculture in Developing Countries (BREAD) grant entitled ‘Overcoming the Domestication Bottleneck for Symbiotic Nitrogen Fixation in Legumes’. The authors are thankful to Douglas R Cook and R Varma Penmetsa of University of California-Davis, and Eric von Wettbergof Florida International University, USA, for their help and support in various ways during the course of the study. This work has been undertaken as part of the CGIAR Research Program on Grain Legumes. ICRISAT is a member of CGIAR Consortium.
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